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Urena v. Beaudouin

United States District Court, E.D. New York

September 16, 2014

JOSE RAFAEL URENA, Pro Se Plaintiff,


KIYO A. MATSUMOTO, District Judge.

On December 9, 2008, Jose Urena ("plaintiff") commenced this pro se action in connection with the medical treatment he received for bladder cancer while incarcerated in 2006 at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, a federal detention center ("the MDC"). Presently before the court is the motion for summary judgment filed by defendant Robert Beaudouin, M.D. ("Dr. Beaudouin" or "defendant") on the sole remaining cause of action in this case, plaintiff's claim for alleged constitutional violations relating to his medical care at the MDC, pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971) (" Bivens ") against Dr. Beaudouin. For the reasons set forth below, Dr. Beaudouin's motion for summary judgment is granted in its entirety.


The facts of this case have been discussed in detail in the court's prior orders. Accordingly, familiarity with the background of the case is presumed, and only those facts directly relevant to the instant motion will be recited in this Memorandum and Order.

I. Procedural History

There has been extensive prior motion practice in Mr. Urena's case. On December 9, 2008, plaintiff commenced this pro se action in the Southern District of New York against the MDC; Dr. Beaudouin, who is a physician at the MDC; Yan Wolfson, M.D. ("Dr. Wolfson"), a physician at New York Downtown Hospital ("NYDH"); and NYDH. ( See generally Compl., ECF No. 4-3). The court interpreted Mr. Urena's original complaint to allege constitutional violations pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Bivens, and negligence and medical malpractice claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA"), 28 U.S.C. §§ 2671 et seq., and New York State law. See Urena v. Wolfson, No. 09-CV-1107, 2010 WL 5057208, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 6, 2010) (" Urena I "). After the case was transferred to this court on March 11, 2009, an Amended Complaint was filed on November 2, 2009 (ECF No. 45), [1] and discovery was completed, the MDC and Dr. Beaudouin moved to dismiss and for summary judgment (ECF No. 65) and Dr. Wolfson and the NYDH also moved to dismiss and for summary judgment (ECF Nos. 74, 79). In an opinion dated December 6, 2010, the court granted Dr. Beaudouin, Dr. Wolfson and NYDH's motions in part and denied them in part and granted the MDC's motion in its entirety, dismissing plaintiff's constitutional claims against the MDC, NYDH and Dr. Wolfson and his FTCA claims against the MDC and Dr. Beaudouin.[2] See generally Urena I, 2010 WL 5057208. The court ruled that the constitutional claims against Dr. Beaudouin would proceed, as would the state law tort claims against NYDH and Dr. Wolfson. Id.

Dr. Wolfson and NYDH subsequently renewed their motions for summary judgment (ECF Nos. 135, 146), and the undersigned granted those motions on March 20, 2012, dismissing all claims against Dr. Wolfson and NYDH. See Urena v. Wolfson, No. 09-CV-1107, 2012 WL 958529 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 20, 2012) (" Urena II "). The court denied, however, a motion made by Dr. Beaudouin for reconsideration of the court's denial of summary judgment predicated on the government's argument that plaintiff failed to exhaust administrative remedies for his Bivens claim. (ECF Nos. 142, 164.)

Following a stay of the case ( see Order dated July 23, 2012), Dr. Beaudouin again moved for summary judgment on plaintiff's remaining constitutional claim against him. (Def. Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 209.) Plaintiff filed opposition to the motion (Pl. Opp'n, ECF No. 208), and defendant replied (Def. Reply, ECF No. 217).

II. Undisputed Facts[3]

The following facts are undisputed and supported by admissible evidence, unless otherwise noted. See Raskin v. Wyatt Co., 125 F.3d 55, 66 (2d Cir. 1997) ("[O]nly admissible evidence need be considered by the trial court in ruling on a motion for summary judgment.").

Plaintiff was an inmate at the MDC between July 6, 2005 and March 21, 2007. (Def. R. 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 1, ECF No. 211.) His medical treatment during this period was extensive, however, and the following description of plaintiff's medical treatment at MDC will focus on his bladder condition at issue in this action. From July 8, 2005 to June 23, 2006, plaintiff was treated by MDC medical staff for several ailments, including but not limited to diabetes and tooth pain. ( Id. ¶¶ 2-6, 8, 11-14.) A year after his arrival at MDC, on July 7, 2006, plaintiff made what appears to be his first complaint related to his bladder. ( See id. ¶ 15.) At this time, plaintiff was housed in the East Tower of the MDC, where Dr. Beaudouin was stationed. ( See Decl. of Robert Beaudouin, M.D. ("Beaudouin Decl.") ¶ 6, ECF No. 212.) Plaintiff informed Dr. Beaudouin that he had observed blood and pus in his urine and blood following bowel movements. (Def. R. 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 15; see also Abell Decl., Ex. A at BOP00016, 19 (Dr. Beaudouin's notes dated July 7, 2006).)[4] Dr. Beaudouin examined plaintiff and diagnosed plaintiff with hemorrhoids and prescribed hydrocortisone cream. ( Id. )

One week later, on July 14, 2006, analysis of plaintiff's urine was performed, which indicated several abnormalities, including the presence of occult blood and bacteria. (Def. R. 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 16; see also BOP45 (copy of the urinalysis results).) On July 19, 2006, Dr. Beaudouin reviewed the test results and indicated that plaintiff should follow up during sick call. (Def. R. 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 17; BOP45.) The following day, July 20, 2006, Dr. Beaudouin examined plaintiff, and plaintiff complained of blood in his urine but stated it was painless. On the same day, Dr. Beaudouin referred plaintiff to an urologist and requested that the urologist provide "a summary of [the] assessment and [a] plan to facilitate patient's follow up care" to the MDC. (Def. R. 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 19; BOP18 (defendant's notes dated July 20, 2006), 99-100 (defendant's referral of plaintiff to Dr. Wolfson, urologist).) In addition, defendant prescribed plaintiff medication and, with plaintiff's permission, requested plaintiff's medical records from University-Hospital, located in Newark, New Jersey, where plaintiff had previously been treated. (Def. R. 56.1 Stmt. ¶¶ 19-20; BOP18, 140.) These records, which indicated that plaintiff was previously diagnosed with internal hemorrhoids, were faxed to Dr. Beaudouin on August 1, 2006, and reviewed by defendant on August 4, 2006. (Def. R. 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 21; BOP127, 130).)

On August 31, 2006, plaintiff was examined by Physician's Assistant ("PA") Mitchell[5] and reported that, one week earlier, he had seen again seen blood and pus in his urine, and a test of plaintiff's urine that day confirmed the presence of blood. Although PA Mitchell observed a mass on plaintiff's rectum, plaintiff refused an exam. (Def. R. 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 23; see also BOP14-15 (PA Mitchell's treatment notes dated August 31, 2006), 118 (a form signed by plaintiff acknowledging his refusal of the rectal exam, despite PA Mitchell's advice).) Plaintiff followed up with Dr. Beaudouin during a September 6, 2006 sick call and stated that he observed only occasional blood in his urine. (Def. R. 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 24; BOP16-17.) Defendant's notes indicate that he referred plaintiff to a gastroenterologist on the same day. (Def. R. 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 25; BOP17.)

Beginning on September 21, 2006, plaintiff began to be treated by Dr. Wolfson at NYDH. (Def. R. 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 26.) During this initial visit, Dr. Wolfson performed an examination and a renal and pelvic sonogram and observed two masses consistent with bladder cancer on plaintiff's bladder wall (referred to as polypoid lesions). (Def. R. 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 26, BOP97, 99 (sonography report).) Plaintiff was advised to follow up in two weeks with a cystoscopy and urine cytology. (Def. R. 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 27.) Dr. Beaudouin reviewed the results of the sonogram on September 22, 2006. ( Id. ¶ 28; BOP97, 99.) On October 5, 2006, Dr. Wolfson performed a cystoscopy on Mr. Urena, which revealed two bladder lesions. (Def. R. 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 29, BOP95.) On October 6 and October 9, 2006, respectively, Dr. Goldstein of the MDC referred plaintiff for a transurethral resection of the bladder tumor (a procedure called "TURBT") and a biopsy, and Dr. Beaudouin referred plaintiff for an abdominal and pelvic CT-scan. (Def. R. 56.1 ¶¶ 30-31; BOP93-94.) On October 30, 2006, the CT scan was carried out and, on November 2, 2006, the ...

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